I Affirm and Aver the Following is Poo

The Whole Poo and Nothing But the Poo

Miracles Might Still Happen
The Captain's Prop
Today, the worst Chinese "restaurant" in Seattle finally reopened as a tavern.

A tavern with 60 beers on tap.

That's right, 60. Flat-screen tellies wrap the corner, each with a description of the beer available directly below the entry which includes IBU, %booze, price, etc.

A tavern giving away free growlers right now.

Oh, and you can get your beer to go in 32 oz. cans, canned on the spot.

Now, the excitement:Collapse )

On A Funny Note
The Captain's Prop
I just realized that at The Moby-Dick Big Read, a project that turns Melville's masterpiece into an audiobook with each chapter read by some one different, there is something funny indeed.

Chapter 95: The Cassock is all about an object

...longer than a Kentuckian is tall, nigh a foot in diameter at the base, and jet-black....

...the whale's penis.

That's not the funny part, though! To read "The Cassock," they chose John Waters.

That's funny.

I Have Not Yet Sealed the Ballot
The Captain's Prop
I should, but something this year is... different.

Preamble: I have voted officially for president in every election since I was eligible in 1984. I'm not going to defend past presidential choices; no voter needs to defend past election choices.

This year, though, has been hard. This is the first year where I just don't give a shit which of the main candidates wins. This apathy of mine has run smack into a major antipathy amongst those of my friends, family members and online acquaintances who happen to be gay.

Here's an example, from a former coworker and F#c@Book friend who has moved elsewhere:

I'm watching c-span and vomiting in my mouth. I'm certain most of the Trump supporters have hidden me in their feed or deleted me, but if by chance you are seeing this and voting for Trump (or as Cher refers to him:🚽), please remove me from your list. You obviously hate your kids, women, all non-white people, immigrants and yourselves, and I have zero need to have any connection to you. Zero. Bye, Felicia.

...We are facing a catastrophe if Trump is elected. If you're considering supporting a third party: you are making a huge mistake and adding to the problem facing us.

(I emboldened the issue.)

I'm not sure who Felicia is, but yikes.

And that FB friend is not alone. I was repeatedly attacked by the flimsiest of rhetoric by an LJ friend who simply wouldn't let up. I mean, it was striking, the dismissive "Bernie Bro" talking points he constantly threw in my face as if they were a thing. Because I was such a person as this imaginary BB, I was automatically anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-democracy—name it, I'm probably it.

Which is patently batshit insane.

Look, when I question my pretty damned long adherence to the Democratic Party line, I do not do it lightly. Yes, in passing, I wondered why Hillary was so darned insistent on non-diplomacy. Pretty striking, really, from a former Secretary of State, dontcha think? LJ dude took one look at the single interview I (grudgingly) gave him supporting my opinion, saw some "controversial" material in it, and dismissed it as "fringe" (meaning he didn't deign to read the damned thing in its entirety, if at all).

Well, today I came across this article from Dennis Kucinich published in The Nation. (I'm sorry, LJ dude, not "unfringe" enough for you?) It dealt with exactly the same issues I raised in that earlier exercise in LJ frustration. In it, Kucinich laments the fact that formerly liberal think tanks have been infected with the same disease vector that dominated every complaint I had about Hillary: money, money given to think tanks that now advocate increased military interventions:

How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city’s so called bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya, and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora’s box to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall for military contractors. DC’s think “tanks” should rightly be included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering places for refugees from academia.

His conclusions resonated with me. I hope they do the same with you.

Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought to be accompanied by a list of the think tank’s sponsors and donors and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report’s authors.

It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political class and sleepwalkers with press passes.

It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White House, must face visible opposition.

(I did it again.)

In the name of a "visible opposition" I threw my support to Bernie. Why? If you have to ask, in my opinion, you aren't paying attention.

That said, I'm in a quandary. No, I do not support The Donald for anything other than a Cheap Laugh. But No, I cannot support Hillary. Why? Yes, she is eminently qualified. Yes, she is farther to the left of her opposition.

But here's a question too few even raise with themselves: Consider her campaign symbol. In which direction does the arrow point?

Real Progressives Point Left!

I thought of printing up a few of that slogan along with an image for a bumper sticker, but no, I thought. Bumper stickers should support something, not just shit on everything.

And that's what opposition to the mainstream is today, the role of shitting on everything offered as an option.

I want OTHER options!

But yes, I know, I can't have any. Probably because we don't actually live in a democracy.

That LJ dude pointed out that a few people in Florida voting for Nader ruined the early oughts for the rest of us: I retorted that the only decision makers that mattered in 2000 wore black robes to work.

I used to give Nader voters that same raft of shit when they flooded me with their idealism. Now I properly blame the robe wearers.

Which brings me to today.

I don't want. Therefore, I can't decide.

If you have an opinion, and it doesn't resort to calling me names that I don't deserve, chime in on what I could do.

I'm seriously open to any option other than casting a vote for The Weasel Headed.

Bitcoin Believers, Guzzling the Flavor-Aide
The Captain's Prop
I haven't mentioned it recently, or at all, but a few months ago I spoke with a Bitcoin guy. He was my first, a tecky by trade who really believed in the Bit.

I asked him what the appeal was. For him, it was to take control of money in ways that separate it from people. Things proceeded to weird.Collapse )

Almost Out the Nose
The Captain's Prop
At work today, a co-worker shared a bit of her lunch, some Italian salami. Bad news, though; it was starting to turn. I didn't mind; I could tell it had a few more hours before the turning meat taste would be overpowering. (I've been told I have an Iron Gut. Never sick on bad food, ever.)

She, however, tasted that initial turn and spat it out. I ate a few more before she tossed the package. We headed out to get some grub elsewhere instead.

On the way, she was remarking on my ability to eat tainted meat. Just before taking a sip of soda, she said, "You're probably going to get trichinosis."

"Oh, no," I said without missing a beat, "trichinosis tastes totally different."

That soda got spat on the beauty bark, but almost. . . .

The Sound of 'Splainin'
The Captain's Prop
I've been through a few presidential cycles in my cycles around the sun. Not as much as many, but more than a few. I know there are differences and similarities in each. But this time, this time feels ... different.

Cut for my rocking chair on porch moment.Collapse )

Future Low-Hanging Fruit
The Captain's Prop
I just want to get this out there, for the record. If enough are aware of it coming, it might stop it from being the "thing" of the moment.

When Donald Trump loses next, be that (unlikely) as the GOP nominee or as (?) President, the headline somewhere will read:

No, You're Fired!

You likely heard it here first (or not). It's pretty obvious.

New Rules For an Old Game
The Captain's Prop
Last winter, I read Mary Pilon's The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game. Despite the hype we had swallowed as kids, Charles Darrow was not the inventor of Monopoly. He stole it from a string of players, each of whom made subtle changes to the game that remain to this day.

Parker Bros. released this version in 1939,
but soon recalled it and destroyed most copies.
From The Museum of Play.

The original game was invented by Elizabeth "Lizzie" Magie and called "The Landlord's Game." Here's the fun part:

Collaborating with friends in her Brentwood, Maryland community, Elizabeth Magie created The Landlord's Game.... She explained that the game was to be a "practical demonstration of the present system of land-grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences."

While still a young, single woman, Elizabeth -- or "Lizzie" as she came to be called -- became a regular visitor to the Single Tax enclave of Arden, Delaware. This was around 1903. Whether on her own or in conjunction with other Single Taxers in Arden, Lizzie continued to work on the design of The Landlord's Game as a way to explain how Henry George's system of political economy would work in real life.

(I emboldened.)

The Landlord's Game would be very similar in play to Monopoly today, with some interesting exceptions. From a website with the original rules, we learn that buying a property then was like buying a property now . . . with a devious twist:

If the lot is not yet owned by any of the players, it is "For Sale" and the player stopping upon it may purchase it at the original sale price, provided no other player bids more for it. If the player who has stopped upon it is willing to pay the highest price bid, he has the first option. If he cannot or does not want to pay the highest price bid, then the player bidding the highest price must take the lot at the price he has bid for it. If the first player does not [buy] a lot and some other player does, the first player pays the land rent to the purchaser.

(I emboldened the section italicized at the website. Oh, and screw LJ for that continuing formatting decision.)

So, as you can imagine, the game moves quite a bit more quickly, the richest players soon getting ever wealthier by being able to outbid other players without needing to land on the property.

Here, though, is the twist. Remember that Ms. Magie was a student and teacher of good ol' Henry George. She went so far as to serve "as the headmistress of the Henry George School of Social Science, which she operated out of her home." (Mary Pilon, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, Bloomsbury, 2015, p. 134.) For her, The Landlord's Game was a teaching game, not just a cutthroat endeavor to dominate your friends. She included two sets of rules, one to emulate the real world of land rent dominance.

The Landlord's Game is based on present prevailing business methods. This the players can prove for themselves; and they can also prove what must be the logical outcome of such a system, i.e., that the land monopolist has absolute control of the situation.

Ah, but the game need not be ended when one player has enough leverage to monopolize the outcome. Here's the twist: "If the players wish to prove how the application of the Single Tax would benefit everybody by equalizing . . . opportunities and raising wages, they may at any time during the game put the single tax into operation by a vote of at least two of the players." The rules then list what to change in order to make sure people simple play without end.

Which would make for a damned boring game, to be sure. But what about for a way of life? In real life, the goal is not to become the economic roadkill of some monopolizing agent, but rather to live an enjoyable life for as long as one can.

I had a thought the other day. We no longer play The Landlord's Game. We all play Monopoly. What if there were a second set of rules for any given Monopoly set similar to the Georgist rules provided for The Landlord's Game? Has anyone drawn up such rules before? Or been curious to see how such rules would play?

I'm sure such a person would be a gamer, or at least game oriented. Such a person might also be familiar with Henry George's work and influence, and have sufficient grasp of the modern-day Monopoly game to re-interpret The Single Tax rules from Lizzie's game.

Krugman's Duplicity: Still Abounding
J' Acuse!
Paul Krugman writes stuff. Sometimes I read it. Mostly not. Why?

First, let's start with this not-so-startling example of why we should never, ever accuse the NY Times of being "liberal":

It’s important to realize that there are some real conflicts of interest here. For Sanders campaign staff, and also for anyone who has been backing his insurgency, it’s been one heck of a ride, and they would understandably like it to go on as long as possible. But we’ve now reached the point where what’s fun for the campaign isn’t at all the same as what’s good for America.

Let's focus on that last sentence, shall we? Sanders has been talking about the outsized influence of money during his campaign. Refreshing, it's been, to hear from someone freed from the gag order on which Big Money insists. Wouldn't it be "good for America" to talk about money?

Ah, but to focus on that last sentence, we would first have to consider the first sentence. Specifically, we would have to consider Krugman's "real conflicts of interest here."

Let's go back a few years. Krugman and Steve Keen had a nice online fight about money. Scott Fullwiler points out that, in that nice fight, Krugman makes a bit of a blunder:

...Krugman demonstrates that he has a very good grasp of banking as it is presented in a traditional money and banking textbook. Unfortunately for him, though, there’s virtually nothing in that description of banking that is actually correct. Instead of a persuasive defense of his own views on banking, his post is in essence his own flashing neon sign where he provides undisputable evidence that “I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

(I emboldened.)

Fullwiler goes on to explain Krugman's mistaken conception of how money works, just like Steve Keen tried to do. Ah, but Krugman is a Nobel Fauxbel Prize* winner, dontchaknow. You can't go up against one of those guys and win. It's not allowed.

When Keen refused to back down, Krugman just stopped talking to him.

And nobody did a thing.

Here's the thing, though. Bernard Lietaer has some insight into Krugman's motivations, based on a conversation they had.

Which brings us back to the nearing election. Hillary? Big Money is in the house (well, Senate, State Department, and now Campaign Spendy Chest). Bernie? Not so much.

So out comes Krugman to not mention, but instead just defend the money ... the money system he claims to understand, but cannot clearly and accurately define when anyone is reading. Sure, if the other Bernard is right, and Krugman did say what he said, then yes, Paul would be ostracized and quietly disappear, his NYT bully pulpit gone, his career in shambles.

But if he did this, if he talked about what money really is and who controls it, he would also be ... honest.

Which would be a nice change.

*Alfred Nobel never, ever endowed a prize for Economics. That was done much later, by the Central Bank of Sweden, in 1968. It is given not by peers, but by bankers. And lo, check it out: It's been re-named recently! It's now The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The word I underlined, "Sciences," is a new addition to the prize, implying economics is anything but political, and is instead, somehow, just as objective and universal as physics, chemistry, and medicine.

"Economics is not a science,
and never will be!"

Just Got Back From the Bern Rally
The Captain's Prop

Happily, this was not the only tee available. I did not purchase it. I only purchase shirts I will wear.

Sadly, this is the only pic of The Bern my crap phone would take, despite my superior seating position, directly in line of the speaker, and above the cameras:

Here you see a podium positioned on home plate. Bern has just completed an opening line about dreaming to be in this position, and now he is, but he doesn't have a bat.

It was fun. Caucus tomorrow morning.


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